Tag Archives: Immigration

IMMIGRATION: Twenty-five faith organizations ask appropriators to eliminate the immigrant bed quota

from FCNL

[NOTE: Pax Christi USA signed onto this letter.]

Dear Members of the United States House of Representatives and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Homeland Security,

Immigration-piece-ToniWe, the undersigned faith-based organizations, write to urge you to eliminate the immigrant bed quota currently required in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) budget.

The stipulation in the DHS appropriations legislation states that, “funding made available under this heading shall maintain a level of not less than 34,000 detention beds.” Some members of Congress have interpreted this in recent years to mean that the U.S. government should be filling all of those 34,000 beds at all times, not just maintaining them for potential use. Neither the appropriations language nor this interpretation is in line with the values of our many faith traditions.

We are called as people of faith to seek just and humane policies for our communities, our congregations and our country. We are told in the Bible that “You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Exodus 22:21). Adhering to an arbitrarily determined detention quota is exceptional for any agency, but it is particularly alarming in the context of our nation’s immigration system. By mandating that 34,000 beds be maintained any given time, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents face pressure to round up and detain community members for longer than necessary. The institutional pressure to fill already-paid-for beds comes at the expense of ICE agents exercising essential discretion in their day-to-day jobs and exacerbates the traumatizing effects of detention on immigrant communities…

Click here to read the entire letter.

TAKE ACTION: Stand with Pope Francis in welcoming migrants

from the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Pope Francis prays at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Pope Francis prays at the U.S.-Mexico border.

On February 17, Pope Francis celebrated Mass in Juarez, Mexico. At least 450,000 people were estimated to attend on both sides of the U.S.–Mexico border. His visit is an opportunity to reshape the global conversation on migration and borders.

No doubt Pope Francis will continue to acknowledge the realities of migration – abuse and death on the journey, incarceration of asylum-seekers, divided families, social isolation and exploitation. These realities are often omitted from politicized “immigration” debates.

Click here to ask President Obama and Congress to commit to humane policies that respond to the realities of migration.